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Soldiers grumble over unpaid July salaries, knock Buhari

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Amid biting inflation and rising hunger in the country, some personnel of the Nigerian Army, Navy, and Air Force, on Tuesday night, complained about the delay by the federal government in paying their July salaries.

The Abuja-based soldiers who spoke to Punch on the condition of anonymity said they and their colleagues are unhappy with President Muhammadu Buhari – led Government and Service Chiefs for refusing to pay them their July 2022 salaries, especially because they’ve worked extraordinarily since the Kuje prison break and most recent attacks by non-state actors across the country, especially in the capital city, Abuja.

One of the soldiers said, “This is becoming a norm. It was the same way the federal government delayed the payment of our April salary this year, and now they’re repeating the same. We don’t understand why President Buhari and the military chiefs have refused to pay our salaries as and when due.”

Another soldier said, “We’re tired, but it is quite unfortunate that we can’t complain. We’re being oppressed and cheated, yet there’s no avenue for us to share our grievances. This is getting too much, and I am fed up. I might just resign from the Army if this is how the government would continue to treat us despite sacrificing our time and energy and putting our lives on the stake for this country.

A third soldier, a female personnel with the Nigerian Navy, said, “I wonder how the government wants us to be energetic and go about our duty with vigor despite delaying our salaries. It is really sad that only Nigerian soldiers suffer such humiliation from their government anywhere across the world. What does it take to pay people that are putting their lives at risk to protect a country with over 200 million people?”.

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However, when our correspondent reached out to the Nigerian Army’s spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, he noted that some officers have been paid today, Wednesday, August 3, 2022, adding that personnel that are yet to be paid should exercise patient as payment of salaries is ongoing.

Onyema said, “There was a little delay in the payment. However, salaries are now being paid. Many personnel, including myself, have received their salaries today.

“I use this opportunity to appeal to those whose banks are yet to pay them to be a little patient as the payment is ongoing”.

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Naval spokesperson, Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, who spoke to our correspondent via WhatsApp, simply noted that Naval officers had been paid today.

Ayo-Vhaugan said, “I have been paid. The Navy has been paid. The payment was disbursed yesterday, but the receipts of alerts vary with each bank. I, however, got mine this morning.”

Efforts to reach the Air Force spokespersons, Air Comm. Edward Gabkwet, proved futile as of the time of filing this report. When contacted, he refused to comment on the issue.

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Education

Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student

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Abuja British School shuts down over bullying, assault of female student
• Lead British International School
The management of Lead British International School, Abuja, has shut down the institution over the bullying incident that went viral on social media.

An X user, @mooyeeeeeee, posted two videos where the victim she identified as Maryam Hassan was repeatedly slapped by another female student. Brithe

The video generated thousands of comments by netizens who called on the school authorities to investigate the matter.

At a meeting on Tuesday, the school authorities announced a 3-day closure to enable them probe deeply into the matter.

A top member of staff said the decision to shut down the school temporarily was in the interest of all parties involved.

Earlier reports said tempers flared at the meeting when a parent walked up to the student who bullied her colleague and gave her a slap.

The student, who has been severely criticised,  was seen walking into the premises accompanied by elderly males.

A lady identified as one of the parents walked up to the student, asking her, “She is proud of what she did. You are proud of what you did! You are proud right? Someone’s child; innocent child, you beat her, did you give birth to her? I am asking you, did you give birth to her?”

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The student was trying to walk away so as to avoid confrontation, but the angry parent shoved her, saying, “I’m asking you: did you give birth to her?” The student muttered some incoherent words and the angry parent responded with a slap, before other elderly person around moved in to douse tension.

The Lead British International School had earlier said it has launched investigation into the matter.

SEE ALSO:  Widow cries for justice as husband’s alleged killers threaten her from prison

In a statement issued earlier on Monday, it said the counselling unit of the school is helping the victimised student overcome the emotional and psychological impact.

The statement read, “We are committed to providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all our students. Hence, upon learning of the incident, we initiated the process of reaching out to the victim and family with a view to providing support, including access to counselling services to help them cope with the emotional and psychological impact of the incident.

“Additionally, we will be working with the perpetrators and their families, offering counselling and disciplinary measures to address their behaviour which has no place in society.

“We have also immediately initiated an investigation, appointing a dedicated team to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. The team has been gathering information, including reviewing video footage and interviewing witnesses, to understand the full scope of the incident and identify the immediate and remote causes.”

The federal government has also confirmed shutting down of the Lead British International School, Abuja for three days over the case of a student of the school, Namtira Bwala who was physically bullied and assaulted by her classmate, Maryam Hassan.

The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, who visited the school on Tuesday,  announced the shutting down of the school following the outrage that trailed the viral video of how and where the female, Maryam brutally slapped and bullied Namtira.

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by lawyers

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Yahaya Bello: NBA disowns protest by 'fake' lawyers
• The protesting 'lawyers'
• Says protesters not lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Associaiton (NBA) on Tuesday, disclaimed a protest by lawyers over what they called the illegal approach of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in handling its allegations against former Governor of Kogi, Yahaya Bello

The no fewer than 500 persons who claimed to be legal practitioners from across the country on Monday, stormed the Supreme Court complex.

The lawyers, under the umbrella of judicial watchdogs, faulted the siege on the ex-Gov’s residence, in a bid to arrest him, in spite of  a valid court order to the contrary, which had not been vacated.

Meanwhile, in a short notice to newsmen on Tuesday, the NBA through its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Habeeb Lawal, says the group of protesters are not lawyers.

The notice reads: “The above report refers.

“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is aware that some news outlets have reported this news.

“Please be informed that while the NBA respects the rights of citizens to assemble and protest, we insist that this particular group of persons are not lawyers.

“For completeness, their supposed leader or convener Sylvanus K. Alewu is not a name known to us,” he said. (NAN)

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SEE ALSO:  NDLEA arrests pregnant woman, widow over N3.2m counterfeit cash, illicit substance
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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau

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7 repentant bandits surrender weapons in Plateau
• Surrendered weapons

Special Adviser to the Plateau Governor on Security and Coordinator of Operation Rainbow, Brigadier General Gakji Shipi (rtd), has announced that the non-kinetic approach to addressing security challenges in the state is showing positive results.

General Shipi (rtd) revealed that seven notorious bandits have surrendered and given up their weapons, including AK-47 rifles, to security agencies.

During a briefing with journalists on Monday, General Shipi (rtd) praised the joint efforts of security agencies, vigilantes, and hunters in Wase local government area for their recent actions in combatting banditry and other security threats.

He highlighted that the collaboration among these groups had led to the surrender of the weapons by the bandits. General Shipi (rtd) explained that although the bandits were initially hesitant to surrender out of fear of reprisal, they eventually decided to abandon violence and willingly return their weapons.

He stressed that the increasing incidents of armed banditry had prompted security agencies to broaden their focus beyond known hotspots to other regions.

The special adviser credited this achievement to the united efforts of Wase local government authorities, local vigilante groups, the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), the Department of State Services (DSS), and the police.

General Shipi (rtd) stated, ““For quite some time now, we have been taking a look at the security situation bedevilling the state and apart from the kinetic approach, we have decided to adopt the non-kinetic means to solve the problem.

“We have also decided to shift attention to other areas, especially Wase local government area, which had had fair share of armed banditry and the endeavours have started recording success.

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“Some of the criminals and bandits have returned their weapons to us and you know we are still negotiating, but for fear of being prosecuted, some of them have surrendered their weapons to us without coming out, but with the confidence measures we are building more will return their weapons as well as surrender to the authorities”.

SEE ALSO:  Enugu Police arrest two ‘one chance’ robbery, kidnap, fraud suspects, rescue female Victim

While General Shipi (rtd) did not disclose the exact number of bandits who had surrendered, he confirmed the return of seven AK-47 rifles, suggesting that seven individuals have turned away from banditry.

“We are still in the negotiation phase, and we are hopeful that more bandits will follow suit in renouncing violence and returning their weapons”, he noted.

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